Greater Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities International’s Environmental, Humanitarian and Haiti Committees have joined forces with One Village Planet (www.onevillageplanet.org) to combat the environmental crisis in Haiti. The Committees have created a program, which will allow one tree to be planted in different areas in Haiti for every US dollar donated. The Program, called “A Dollar A Tree”, has the ambitious goal to reforest Haiti by planting 23 million trees per year.
HERE ARE SOME REALITIES ABOUT DEFORESTATION IN HAITI:
- According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), only 1.5 percent of Haiti is still forested. This percentage has considerately diminished since 1923, when 60% of Haiti was still forested. Dominican Republic, which shares the same island as Haiti, is 28% forested.
- A 1997 study conducted by the USAID entitled Improve Agricultural Productivity and Environmentally Sound Resource Management (Ref. 521- SO04) estimated that 30 million trees are cut down annually. One Village Planet lead agronomist, Mr. Guy Mathieu, estimates the number of trees harvested in the past decade to 23 million trees per year.
- Deforestation in Haiti is mainly caused by the unsustainable harvest of trees for fuel and construction needs. Dan Warren, GFLSCI Environmental Chair, likes to compare the unsustainable harvest of trees in Haiti to a bank account. If you draw more money out of your bank account than you deposit, you will eventually run out of money.
- Without trees, there are no more barriers to prevent flooding. Erosions problems prevail while detrimental effects to the soil hinders agriculture.
- It comes as no surprise, when experts tie poverty in Haiti to environmental degradation. Haiti has been named the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere by the World Bank.
Our plan is simple. The “A Dollar A Tree” program aims to lead a movement that will plant more trees in Haiti than are cut each year. GFLSCI and One Village Planet will apply the model of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai to focus efforts in rural Haiti, especially amongst women, to achieve a sustainable village based approach to environmental restoration.
The ï¿½A Dollar A Treeï¿½ Program seeks to forest the following five locations in Haiti: Labadie, Derac, Phaeton, Acul and Cap Haitien using 10 different types of fruit and forest trees such as Chadek, Avocado, Lime, Mango, Orange, Cochen, Acacia, Oak, Lucenia, and possibly, Mahogany if available. A new nursery will be created at Habitation Jouissant on Mont Joli to serve Cap Haitien. Our team has witnessed the solidarity present in villages in Haiti to contribute to this cause. The photo below depicts the effort of an entire village, where young and old habitants participated in planting the trees. Each person was given two mango trees to plant on community-owned land and will be responsible for watering his or her own trees. Each person was also given two mango trees to plant and nurture in their own immediate environment. Part of our mission is to give the rural communities both the means and the education to ensure environmental sustainability.
The program has also the goal to create awareness both nationally and internationally about the consequences of deforestation on Haiti. If you would like to more information on the program, please contact Dan Warren, GFLSCI Environmental Chair and Founder of One Village Planet at [email protected]
On Behalf of the Haiti, Environmental & Humanitarian Committees of GFLSCI and One Village Planet, we would like to thank you for your support!
All Donations are tax deductible as recognized by law. Greater Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities International is a non-profit 501-C3 Organization.